Will H. Bradley

American , 1868 - 1962

Cartoonist, illustrator, decorator and architect, Will H. Bradley was one of the leading American poster artists of the turn of the century. His talent for graphic arts earned him the nickname, “The American B”, in reference to the English graphic artist, Aubrey Beardsley. Bradley was born in Boston, Massachusetts and received his artistic education from his father, a cartoonist for the Daily Item, a Massachusetts newspaper.

In 1880, Bradley began a career as a journalist, working for the Iron Agitator. He continued this line of work until 1887 when he moved to Chicago to work for renowned painters, Knight and Leonard. By the 1890s, Bradley was working independently as a designer, working for Harper’s, among other magazines. He established a studio for himself and began producing theater posters and commercial advertisements. In 1895, he returned to Boston and published, “Bradley, His Book: A Monthly Magazine Devoted to Art, Literature and Printing”.

Bradley began working for William Randolph Hearst as art supervisor to a film series in 1915. By 1920 he had become the head art supervisor of Hearst magazines and newspapers. In 1954, Bradley was the recipient of a gold medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts. In addition to his work in the graphic arts, Bradley designed three homes for his family, revealing his interest in architecture, a medium in which his influences were Frank Lloyd Wright and the school of Glasgow.


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